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 user 2006-07-31 at 2:08:00 pm Views: 69
  • #16199

    Epson Philippines turns to corporate users for growth
    Philippines Corp. is turning towards business users for new sources of
    revenue, as the company struggles to regain market share amidst a
    shrinking printer market. According to IDCÂ’s numbers for 2005,
    Epson’s share of the total printer market was lower by five percentage
    points than the previous year and currently holds the number two
    position at 34 percent. Hewlett-Packard Co.’s share, meanwhile, rose by
    three percentage points and holds the top spot at 37 percent.

    Inc. remains at number three with a 20 percent share of the
    market.Epson Philippines Corp. president Hideto Nakamura makes a speech
    during his introductory briefing with the local IT press.Hideto
    Nakamura, Epson Philippines’ new president who assumed position at the
    start of the company’s fiscal year last April, said that
    Epson will
    focus more on the corporate segment of the local market. Nakamura said
    the company will focus more on the corporate market in its current
    fiscal year.Aside from dot-matrix and the inkjet printers, which
    account for the bulk of the Japanese company’s revenues in the
    Philippines, Epson is also looking to generate more revenues from
    products geared towards business users, such as LCD projectors and
    wide-format printers, and those that cater to niche markets such as
    point-of-sale (POS) printers for retail users and passbook printers for
    banks.For the previous fiscal year ending March, Epson Philippines grew
    its total revenues by about 8 percent to P1.6 billion (US$30.8
    million), said Jino Alvarez, assistant general manager for sales and
    marketing, in a briefing Monday announcing the company’s new
    president.Dot matrix printers, a market perennially dominated by Epson,
    accounted for almost half of Philippine revenues, followed by ink jet
    printers and projectors. The company also reported steady growth in its
    consumables business or ink cartridges even with a surge in the
    popularity of ink refilling stations.“We have made our consumables a
    lot more visible in the market since last year. We found out that users
    have a tendency to go for alternative products if they don’t see
    original cartridges available,” Alvarez said.

    Striking a balance
    said the company now wants to become more user-focused, rather than
    product-oriented, in approaching the market, while creating a balance
    between its corporate and consumer business.Epson is traditionally
    stronger in the consumer segment, though Alvarez said the companyÂ’s
    revenues for fiscal year 2005 showed little difference between both
    market segments.The company is targeting to increase its revenues for
    fiscal year 2006 to P1.7 billion. Alvarez, however, expects sales in
    the first quarter of its current fiscal year to be “not as good” as
    the previous year.“April, May and June are traditionally lean months.
    It’s been hard to hit our target since it’s the opening of a new school
    year and spending is prioritized elsewhere,” said Alvarez, noting that
    Epson’s sales usually start peaking in the middle of the second and
    third quarter.IDC predicts the total printer marker this year to shrink
    by more than 12 percent from 524,000 units in 2005.“We’d like to focus
    more on revenues and profitability not market share. Even if our share
    drops by a few percentage points, our focus is on total value for
    costumers,” Alvarez said.Since last year, HP has been aggressive in
    marketing its consumer products, including its printer line. Its
    marketing blitz includes trade-in schemes and bundling its printers
    with other devices such as PCs and digital cameras.Alvarez himself
    acknowledged that HP has been aggressive in becoming more competitive
    in terms of price points but maintains Epson’s customer-focused
    stance.For his part, Nakamura said Epson will analyze the local
    consumer market to see how the company can address growth opportunities.